Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Gospel and Blueberry Pancakes

Joshy "helping" make blueberry pancakes
My sweet 3 year old Joshua has had a really rough week...Haha...Who am I kidding? He's had a really rough year! See, his darling little sister turned a year old this year and is now more of a "mover and a shaker" instead of just that cute little thing who sits in the bouncer, or swings in the swing, or is attached to mom. She can run, jump, and climb...and even attack when she decides that she wants whatever object Joshua seems to be holding! Joshua has even learned that her voice can get extremely ear piercingly loud when she doesn't get her way...Or when he's a little to physically aggressive. Poor Joshy...That little guy has more discipline action than cuddle action sometimes! Don't get me wrong...He's such a good big brother, and he truly adores his little sister...Unfortunately though, he also truly adores picking on her...A LOT! Which of course brings on the discipline!

Now, Lil Miss Bryanna isn't so innocent...Oh no, She's a little stinker actually! She can be quite the bully, and she's not to shy to throw her weight around (yep, she's a chubster all right!) or her very loud screeching voice! Joshy will sometimes give in to her bully-ish temper tantrums just to keep her quiet...Yes, her pterodactyl like screaming is really that intimidating at times! But then once she's quiet...He'll retaliate and totally tick her off. This can make discipline rather fun at times...I'm trying to stop Bryanna's sinful temper tantrums...Joshua gives in to her sin...He then sins against her for sinning against him...And...So on...

Joshua finds himself in trouble often these days...But, more so this week...We have all been sick over here with a nasty summer cold...Joshua and Bryanna got it real bad...And, Bryanna's was even worse than Joshy's. Well, you know when kiddos are sick parents tend to spoil them a smidge...Or, maybe it's just me...Whatever, I was sick too...Don't judge me! Anyway...Lil Miss had such a terrible sore throat, very stuffy nose,  and a horrible cough that I really didn't want her to cry to hard. This is because when she'd cry it would really hurt her throat...which would make her cry harder, which would make her start to cough, which would hurt even more, more crying, more coughing, she'd start gagging on all the lovely flem and mucus, she'd start throwing up, snot was flying from her nose...You get the picture, right? Well, Joshy was constantly giving up his toys because he didn't want her to "barf". He'd say, "Oh no Bynna's gonna barf...Don't cry, don't cry Bynna." And then give her what ever she wanted. I tried so hard to help her and help him through all this "fun" stuff this week...Ugh...I just kept praying...A LOT...All...Day...Long...

I needed help...Then it smacked me like a brick to the face...I needed God's grace...Even during these difficult times, He loves me and I am His...His Holy Spirit is always with me...Guiding me.

Even when I'm running around like a stressed out chicken with it's head cut-off and going crazy with no patience...God's grace is sufficient...

I was trying so hard to do it all without Him...Totally unnecessary...I was exhausted! I immediately thanked Him for His love for me...And praised Him for the reminder of His faithfulness! 

Even when I ignore His presence and forget to ask Him for His much needed help...He lovingly sticks it out with me...even if it lands me flat on my tired face!

This morning we woke up late after a very long night...Joshua and Bryanna were both up very late with horrible coughs. I was cranky...They were cranky...The whole house quickly became cranky. I tried to get breakfast going which seemed impossible...To much crankiness! Breakfast was quickly turning into lunch. Then to top it all off...Bryanna starts to screech at the top of her sore little lungs...Joshy runs in to her and puts his arms around her..."Shhh Bynna, don't cry, please don't cry...you gonna barf." He then kisses her forehead, gives her another hug, gives her his beloved Bob the Builder book and Thomas the Train and smiles at her...He gave her his treasures "to make her smile" he said. He gave her grace...Did she deserve his treasures? No, quite the opposite really. Even though she was sick and hurting...Her heart was very angry and selfish...Joshua loved her anyway...He knew that she needed something...He wanted to help her. So, He gave up his own treasures for her happiness! He was so happy and pleased that he "made Bynna happy now!", and he proudly smiled at her! Joshua had so much joy in seeing that Bryanna found her joy in his act of love for her!

What a reminder of Jesus' own "act of love" for us, when He chose to die for on that cross! How merciful to take our punishment and very much deserved penalty upon Himself. He gave up His own life for us! How gracious of our Holy God to give us what we don't deserve by imputing His Son's righteousness on us...Seeing us as holy, beautiful, and fully completed in His Son Jesus Christ! Wow...What an amazing God I serve! And, to think that He finds joy in us when we find our joy in Him...Amazing!

Well...because Joshy isn't God, but just a totally depraved 3 year old...He snatched away the Thomas toy as soon as she stopped crying...*Sigh*...Oh well...But, instead of a long lecture on why he shouldn't do that and more discipline I instead took him into the kitchen after consoling Bryanna. He seemed a little confused as to why he wasn't in trouble. I hugged him asked him if he wanted to help me make blueberry pancakes...Of course he said yes! While we cooked...Well technically, I cooked and he made a mess...We also talked about Jesus. We talked about how thankful we are that He died for our sins...How thankful we are that He has forgiven us...How thankful we are that He loves us...Even when we sin. Joshy seemed pretty shocked that God still loves him even when he "does something bad". "God forgave you Joshy...When Jesus died on the cross, your sins died with Him...You are no longer "bad" in His eyes...When Jesus rose from the grave, You became alive with Him...You are alive in Christ! When God sees you, He sees a good Joshy, a sweet little dude. He is always with you...He will always love you...Even when you sin."
I gave him grace...God's grace...The Gospel...

Later in the afternoon, Bryanna got all feisty on Joshua...AGAIN...Freaked out over some toy of his that she desperately wanted...He sacrificially gave it to her and smiled...He then stole it back about a minute later though...She started to cry...He told his heart to "be nice", gave it back to her, and then happily exclaimed for all to hear, "Jesus is alive...He loves me!"

Yep...He's still a work in progress...Haha...Aren't we all?
Though the toughest work of all will be to fully trust in the work that has already been done for us...

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins....~1 John 4:9-10

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
~Romans 5:8

We love, because He first loved us.
~1John 4:19

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Bouquet of Flowers...

Today while having breakfast with the kiddos, I stared at the beautiful bouquet of wild flowers my amazing husbando (no, this is not a typo...I call him husbando...and he's amazing!) picked for me the other day. As I sat there this overwhelming feeling of guilt came over me...I have been neglecting my Babe! Ugh...I hate when I do that!

See, for the past couple weeks...Hmmm...Ok, maybe a month...Alright fine, I'll be honest...It's probably been more like a year...or two...but, more these past couple weeks. Anyway, all the kiddos have been sick and I've had to go to the Dr's office waaaay more than anyone should ever have to in their whole entire lifetime, their schools are having their end of the school year activities, some of them are involved in sports or some other extra-curricular something...I've been busy...very busy...insanely busy...AND waaaay to busy to be a wife to my husbando!

I mean seriously, if there was a such thing as HPS (Husband Protective Services) then I'd be in huge amounts of trouble for neglecting him! I've been doing all the "serving" aspects of marriage...dishes, cooking, laundry, small talk...yadda-yadda...BUT, I haven't really stopped, took a breath, and spent any for real sincere time with him! Can you imagine if a parent did this to a child?!

Say we spent this kind of day with our children...
Wake up, give them breakfast, dress them, ignore them while we clean the house, give them a snack, ignore them some more, give them lunch, ignore them some more, nap time, wake up, give them a snack, ignore them some more, dinner time, ignore them some more, jammies on, go to bed...no hugs, no kisses, no playing, no talking, no enjoying them...

How awful that would be for your child! Do you agree? See, even though I would be providing them the "practical" things they needed, I would still be neglectful by withholding the essentials of our relationship as mother and child. My children NEED my affection...So does my husband!

It's understandable to be exhausted and exasperated after the stressful busy moments...But, be careful not to neglect your husband in it all. It's pretty stinkin' easy to do if you've got a guy like mine! Haha...Ok, that didn't sound so great...What I mean is...If you have a man who takes the neglect without complaint, it's pretty easy to go on ignoring him while tending to other "important" issues. He understands that right now since we have a house full of little ones, my affection is to be shared. But, that's the whole point...SHARED. It's very easy to get caught up in all the "other things" of life...Mothering, cleaning, cooking, church activities, school activities, after school activities, etc...But, I also need to set aside time for my husband...He is first and foremost my numero uno priority...After, of course my relationship with God. And, I'm not talking about giving him just five or ten minutes at the end of the day right before I collapse in exhaustion either. I'm talking about spending true quality time with him, making him feel loved and important to me. When he's my first priority, everything else...no matter how huge and stressful seems to go a lot easier! This is the way God has intended it to be...So, that's probably why!

Making the husbando #1 isn't all that easy...Haha...Again, didn't mean for this to sound bad! What I mean is...The "other important stuff" I have to take care of is A LOT of work! So, sometimes (who am I kidding, MANY times) he get's pushed waaaay back to the end of the line. The secret is to keep him at the front of the line in my heart and pray that God will help me. The reality is...I'm gonna fail...miserably! I always do...every day! The amazing truth though, is...Jesus Christ died for my neglectfulness...He died for the continuous amounts of times I ignore my husband and tend to other matters...He died for the times my heart attitude is cold towards my husband and I will make up excuses for the neglect such as, "I just have to much to do!" The good news is...When God sees me now...He sees me as His beautiful sinless Son Jesus Christ loving my husband the way He intended! What?! Yep, even when I fail...God sees me as if I am doing what I should be doing! What amazing grace! Doesn't that just karate chop ya in the heart?! Makes you wanna kick your butt in gear, doesn't it? Not because we are bound by The Law...But because we are saved by grace!

This morning as God brought this to my heart I was both saddened and thankful. So sad that I let my hubster down...Sad that he was ignored by the woman who is supposed to be his best friend. And thankful? Yes, thankful! I have such a wonderful husband...He's quite the understanding guy. What a sacrificial heart he has. Instead of huffing and puffing in anger...or wallowing in despair and throwing himself a much deserved pitty-party over his wife's neglectfulness...He instead picks her a bouquet of beautiful flowers! 

So thankful that The Holy Spirit opened up my heart and my eyes to my shortcomings today...I pray God helps me re-prioritize my days so that my husband isn't stuck with only getting my left over exhaustion at the end of the day.

I love you Gary!!! You are truly an amazing husbando...and you're mine!!!

Goofing around pretending to be cow-pokes 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Messiah - Prophecy Fulfilled

Ok, So this movie may not be considered a "Block Buster"...But, what a great movie on showing Jesus Christ revealed as the Prophesied Messiah through Passover...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Legally Killing Our Children

An extremely dangerous proposal is lurking...The actual legalized killing of our children. I read a chilling article from Dr. Albert Mohler. Below I have included some excerpts from his blog...I will also include a link to read his post in full...

Now, an even more chilling development comes in the form of an article just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Professors Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, now argue for the morality and legalization of “after-birth abortion.”...

These authors do not hide their agenda. They are calling for the legal killing of newborn children...

Giubilini and Minerva now argue that newborn human infants lack the ability to anticipate the future, and thus that after-birth abortions should be permitted...

they prefer the term “after-birth abortion” to “infanticide” because their term makes clear the fact that the argument comes down to the fact that the birth of the child is not morally significant...

“The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack the properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”...

This is a straightforward argument for the permissibility of murdering newborn human infants...

Further, they go on to demonstrate the undiluted evil of their proposal by refusing even to set an upper limit on the permissible age of a child to be killed by “after-birth abortion.”...

“Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social, or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.”...

A culture that grows accustomed to death in the womb will soon contemplate killing in the nursery.

Again, Please read this article in it's entirety here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My 5 year old's Theology...

Bella, my beautiful little 5 year old was singing along with the radio this morning as loudly as she possibly could...She suddenly stopped singing and says, "Mama wait, can you turn it off for a minute?" I turn the radio off and listen, because she obviously has something important to say if she's gonna ask me to turn off music...She's kinda like a music loving maniac!

"Mama this is a song about Jesus, right?"

"Yes Honey, it is."

"Well, I think God made this man's heart want to sing songs about Him."

"Hmmm...You do? Why is that?"

"Because he sinned before and then God made his heart new and clean and now he wants to sing songs about God instead of other stuff."

"I think you are probably right Sweetie."

"Ya, and I think God said to him that Jesus died for him and now he is forgiven, now he isn't having a dirty heart because he has a new heart, and his sins are all washed far away. God said to him that he is a new person and now he doesn't want to sing about stuff like playing games, or going to the park, or going grocery shopping, or singing about clothes. He just wants to only sing about God now because God said that He wants him to let all that sin go and be new and cleaned in his heart. So God helped him know all about Himself. And God said follow Me now. No more singing about all of that other stuff. Sing about Me now."

Wow...Was my only thought...I just couldn't even talk...

"Do you think that to Mama?"

"Honey, I do...I really do."

Then she said that I could turn the music back on and she jumped back into singing. Even though a different song was now playing...She knew the words...

"Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow You..."

~I Will Follow - by Chris Tomlin

Friday, February 10, 2012

One Year Ago Today...

Exactly one year ago today, these two people had a baby...

That's not the controversy though...or the scandal...

See, the thing is they were already adding to these guys...

Yep, that's 5 there...But, wait...look below...there's 1 more!

Ahhh!!! 6?!

Are you kidding me?! Seriously?! They are having another one?! What are they thinking?! What are they going to do with another one?! Why on earth are they having another one?! What normal people would do this kind of thing?! And, on purpose?!

See, it's people like that...

People like what? People that have more than 1 or 2 children? People that view children as a gift that God has so graciously blessed them with? You mean, people like that?

You know, long before I was even married and before I had children...I used to tell my daddy that, "I want to have like 10 kids!" Hahaha...He'd laugh and say, "Maybe a little bit less...What about like 5?" I answered him very seriously, "Ummm...I don't like un-even numbers, so how about 6 or 8?" He just laughed again and say, "Well, if you still want that many after having 1 baby, then you go ahead!" I had absolutely no idea just what he meant by that. But, after my first...I was done! WOW!!! Talk about pain! I finally knew what he meant...Although technically when you think about it, he didn't really even know what he meant...He only "knew" from being an innocent bystander, I guess...Haha!

But, I did have more...See, God had this really great idea of allowing women to "forget" the pain of childbirth and even some of the yuckiness of pregnancy...

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. ~John 16:21

I greatly praise Him and thank Him for this. Can you imagine how many women would never ever brave the event of childbirth again without His gift of forgetfulness?!

But, after the birth of our 5th baby we pretty much figured we were done. Well technically speaking, everyone who had an opinion let us know that we were indeed done. You can imagine the surprise when I actually wasn't! I mean we already had 5 children! Who did we think we were getting pregnant with a 6th? Weren't we done?!

"I thought one of you were getting fixed?!"
Wow, I heard that one much more than, "Congratulations!"

After our 6th was born I was determined to be "done"...and I was also equally as determined that my hubster was getting "fixed"! I just couldn't handle the thought of ever having to explain ever ever ever again on why we were expecting...again!

My womb was in the "hands" of others...Others who really had no business being a part of my uterus or the activities that went on with it! They really had no right to any decisions based on my fertility or if I was "done"! I guess it's alright for them to have opinions, but maybe they should have even kept those to themselves as well. I mean really...How is my husband and I having another baby, or 2, or 6 going to hurt them? Were they helping out? Was this really going to affect them personally? Were they offering to babysit? Because if they were...Ok...Ummm...Well in all honesty, we may have totally taken the babysitting offers so that we could go out for a date or something...But, the point is...WE are the parents...We get to decide what we want to do or not do with our own bodies...

I prayed and prayed about this...I was sad, I was stressed, I was confused! Then one night I got up and knelt beside the bed. I knew in my heart that I was wrong...I was wrong to try and force my husband to get "fixed"...I was wrong in not trusting God. I cried and prayed and cried and prayed...and then cried and prayed some more...I repented and then joyfully surrendered everything to Him! I gave Him all of me...Yep, even my womb. I fully surrendered to God and placed ALL of who I am in His hands. I know, I know...sounds crazy, scary, crazy...Oh wait, I already said crazy! Anyway, I knew that I just wasn't truly trusting Him...fully. I knew that I needed to. So, I went "over-the-top" and jumped in!

I never felt so at peace before...I talked to my husband about it and we had a new view of fertility...Let's just enjoy what God has given us and whatever else He chooses. WOW!!! What a concept! My womb was now in the hands of God...Right where it should be. Exactly 2 months later I was pregnant with our 7th...and joyfully happy...not fearfully apologetic.

9 months later (and 3 days early) She arrived!

#7 Our Beautiful Little Bryanna...My almost missed blessing!

Does this mean that there will be more in our future? We don't know...

But, I do know that I will enjoy being a wife to my husband without any reserve or fear. I will enjoy my children...I will enjoy the gifts my Lord blesses me with!

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man (I'd also like to add...and woman) who has his (and her) quiver full of them...
~Psalm 127:3-5

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
~Psalm 139:13-14

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine. In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
~Psalm 128:1-4

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply...
~Genesis 1:28

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above...
~James 1:17

Now, does this mean we look down upon those whom choose "enough is enough"?
No, and this is exactly my point...Who are we to tell anyone else what's right or wrong for their own bodies? We have no right forcing our views of fertility on another couple. That is between them and God...This was our own personal conviction. We know that the Lord placed this conviction on our hearts for a reason...We are trusting in Him and His will for our family. Does this make us "Super-Christians" or "Mega-Holy"? Haha...Ya right, No way! Again, this is just our own personal conviction...And, just because YOU are convicted of "something", doesn't automatically make that "something" a sin or wrong for someone else.

Besides...We're kinda crazy...Not everyone is!

Happy 1st Birthday Little Princess...That year went by ridiculously fast!

(Little Bryanna's first week home...Awwwwe...How peaceful she looks)

(She LOVED this bouncer!)

(My Rock & Roll Princess!)

(Camping at Lake Huron)

(Some-BUNNY is adorable...Hehehe...Get it? Some-"BUNNY"...kinda like somebody...but, I said Bunny 'cause she's all dressed up like a cute little pink bunny?)

(Playing in the leaves...Daddy took this shot & even edited it and everything...Ya, he's pretty stinkin' amazing!)

(Being adorable...again...She's always doing that! Poor baby though...If you look closely at her forehead, she's got a boo-boo...She's a total princess for sure, but she ain't no prissy princess...She's a rough-and-tumble kind of princess!)

Praising God for blessing us with His gift of YOU...Praying for many more wonderful years to come!!!